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Pierce County City of TACOMA Council At Large Position 7

The city council sets the general policies of the city, which are implemented by the city manager and staff. One of council's main duties is the adoption of policies and the enactment of the city's annual budget. City council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending , whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for city employees.

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  • Candidate picture

    Courtney Love

  • Candidate picture

    Conor McCarthy

Biographical Information

What experiences have you had that qualify you for this position?

How would you describe your vision for your city?

What are the obstacles in the path of achieving your vision?

What do you think is your city/town’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment?

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastructure?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

How would you propose the council communicate with the citizens of your city or town?

Phone (253) 831-3383
Town where you live Tacoma
Experience (300 characters max) Precinct Committee Officer with the Democratic Party, vice-chair of Our Revolution-Washington Berniecrats Coalition, co-chair of the Electoral Working Group of the Tacoma democratic Socialists of America, Whole Washington board member.
I've lived in Tacoma all of my life, primarily in the underrepresented and under-served areas of Tacoma. I have not just seen the struggle of the average citizen, I live the struggle. I've run out of money attending school after my mother refused to fill out my financial aid forms, I've worked in food service, healthcare, and been a stay at home mother with debilitating PTSD from family trauma. I've also been passionate about politics since I was 12yrs old, giving up on it when I was in community college - thinking it was too dirty and too broken, but I'm reinvigorated - having been working for the last 4yrs with the Democratic Party, Our Revolution, and eventually Tacoma Democratic Socialists of America. I know policy, I know people, I know what Tacoma had, has, and needs. I am not unique in Tacoma, just among those running for office in Tacoma. If we do what we've always done, we'll get what we've always gotten - I refuse to let Tacoma be treated like the bedpan of WA.
I want to see a city that makes decisions that are best for it's citizens and not what's best for campaign donors. A city with admirable public transit and that protects long term residents from gentrification. A city that refuses to invest in destructive industry, but that embraces new, clean energy practices and innovative ideas from various sources, be it locals with new ideas or successful practices from other municipalities. I want to see a city that promotes Community Planning as we increase our population density - assuring green space, tree canopy, small business space that prioritizes local business, and aesthetics - I don't mind new, multifamily buildings in my 2nd oldest neighborhood in Tacoma, I mind ugly buildings that don't match the neighborhood. I want to see the weave of the social safety net tightened and the system made easier to navigate. I want to see a municipal bank and an Office of Creative Solutions - a one stop place for assistance - getting help is too hard.
Profit motive and apathy.
I think Tacoma must be a leader and set higher standards for ourselves and for those looking to come here. We have a toxic history and must remediate our past and preserve our future. We have no time to waste in making swift changes at a grand magnitude. We must not invest in the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. We have the skill base in Tacoma to do better, be it through electrifying the Port with living wage jobs or through our amazing local schools with the skill base to improve or develop new technologies. We can put turbines in our water pipes and give the rivers back to our salmon. We can expand solar and wind power - we get enough of both in Tacoma, we just have to harness it.
Our roads, despite some improvement, are still in need of more attention. I see our Public Utilities as infrastructure and I support our Public Broadband and want to see it expanded. I want to see our power lines buried and a program to assist in the installation of residential gray water systems - we should be protecting our potable water supply. Our transit has been shrinking at the same time we're discussing how to increase population density - they must go hand in hand.
There are at least 3 levels of houselessness that demand different solutions. The chronically houseless often intersect with addiction and mental health issues. We must develop a system that connects crisis beds with sobriety and mental health services at the time of willingness. Safe consumption sites are key to being an access point. We must not expect the most vulnerable to jump through hoops to gain basic human services - fully public housing for those in the greatest despair is needed. For the working poor who are being priced out of housing, we need more transitional housing and probably another layer of fully public housing - the Vienna Housing Project is a great example. I'd also welcome Community Land Trusts. For those who are sliding out of housing, vouchers can help, but we must also protect the aging from losing homes due to property tax increases. More renter protections - right of first return, just cause evictions, and more.
Tacoma must extricate ourselves from being complicit in the Trump administration's abuse of refugees and those who have been productive members of our community. We must close the Northwest Detention Center at the Port of Tacoma, liberate those within, and do everything we can to stand against the racist and bigoted policies that got us here.
I want to see Precinct Committees. The Democrats and Republicans already elect Precinct Committee Officers (PCO's), but few if any have committees. I want to see each committee have various officers: PCO - engages with the local party organizations Sustainability Officer: aids in lawn removal and food garden installation, recruits at least one person to be a beekeeper Compassion Officer: organizes aid for the most vulnerable neighbors - school clothes, code compliance assistance, food sharing Neighborhood Council Liaison: engages with the neighborhood council to increase communication CERT - Community Emergency Response Training officer to increase local resiliency in an emergency

Through in quarterly precinct parties and neighbors will know neighbors.

This is an excellent way to share information throughout the city and to send information back up the line. High-key community building, low-key political.
Phone (253) 363-1163
Town where you live Tacoma - The City of Destiny
Experience (300 characters max) Current Deputy Mayor; Tacoma City Council 2016-Present; Private Attorney, Real Estate & Estate Planning; J.D., Seattle University; Western Washington; Stadium HS; Safe Streets, Workforce Central and Tacoma Community House Boards; Rotary 8; Co-Chair Opioid Task Force; Volunteer Coach for Kids Sports
I am running for re-election because I love my City and I want to continue making Tacoma a better place to raise a family, get an education, and build a career. I am proud of our accomplishments, but we have more work to do. It would be my honor to continue serving you as we build a stronger Tacoma.On Council, my job is to fight for you. I have fought to: restore the City’s Police and Fire Departments by adding police officers and fire stations; invest in safe routes to Schools; fix our roads and infrastructure with more than 1600 blocks completed over the past few years; increase workforce development and training; and grow living-wage jobs.I continue working to address homelessness and affordable housing with compassion and results-driven solutions; tackle the opioid crisis with increased prevention and treatment; improve the City’s permit process; increase walkability and bikeability; take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect Tacoma’s air and water for all families.
My vision is for a Tacoma that truly lives, breathes, and grows as the City of Destiny for everyone who calls Tacoma home. For a City with good living wage jobs and economic opportunity enjoyed across Tacoma by all residents; an outstanding education system which helps all youth succeed with tremendous K-12 Ed, Higher Ed, technical training and workforce opportunities; clean air, clean water, and strong environmental protections & stewardship. A place that has exceptional public safety and emergency services, well maintained roads and infrastructure, ample affordable housing, a great transit system, is highly bikeable and walkable, and provides great public parks, Arts, and recreational opportunities. For a City that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, and provides a robust safety net for those facing homelessness and other crisis. For a City that celebrates the diversity of its people as its core strength and exemplifies that by working together we will build a brighter future.
Shortage of Living Wage Jobs: As our City grows, it is critical Tacoma becomes a stronger employment center. We must bring more living wage jobs to our City and provide more local careers opportunities for young people. In doing so, we must be much more effective at retaining employers, recruiting new employers, and connecting Tacoma’s under-employed with higher wage jobs. Lack in Affordable Housing and increase in Homelessness: The City dramatically lacks affordable housing, rents continue to skyrocket, and homelessness is on the rise. We must implement our Affordable Housing Action Strategy in ways which are effective at producing more affordable housing units and continue to improve the ways we help those experiencing homelessness with our hand-up approach. Protecting the Environment: It is critical we become cleaner and greener for the sake of ourselves, our children and generations to come. We need to support electrification projects which reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
City plays a vital role as a regulator of activities that impact our air, water, earth, and fish. In this role, the City has a paramount duty to enforce standards that protect our environment and advance our goals for a cleaner future. Also, City operations, capital projects, and programming have an impact on the environment. In April of 2016, City adopted our Environmental Action Plan which sets forth specific targets for environmental protection. Over the past 3 years we have increased the City’s tree canopy and open space and green storm water infrastructure; reduced energy and water consumption in City facilities and fleet ops; increased solar power; reduced single occupancy vehicle trips; increased bicycle infrastructure and recycling. In addition, given that 70% of the bad air that our community is breathing is coming from vehicles, we have to rapidly become a leader and a catalyst in the proliferation of electric vehicle and transit use. The City must lead in Climate Resiliency.
I am proud that we have improved more than 1600 residential street blocks over the past few years and leveraged under $10 million in local funds to obtain more than $50 million in grant funding to fix critical infrastructure.The City continues to fix its residential street network with the monies raised from Propositions 3 and A; and, we continue to leverage local dollars to raise necessary federal and state dollars to repair and improve critical infrastructure, including several bridges which are in need of significant investment. We are ahead of the curve in terms of investments in our utility infrastructure, but we must continue improving our utilities with an eye toward the future. Moving forward, we need to fix critical bridge infrastructure, and increase our investments in sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails. Working with Pierce Transit, we must increase the frequency of our transit network. Finally, we must make investments in the electrification of our transportation network.
We must improve the way we help those experiencing homelessness in our community: (1) Shelter the chronically homeless, including youth; (2) Provide effective case management to connect those in shelters and on the streets with permanent housing; (3) Invest in permanent supportive housing; and (4) Maintain a safe and clean City. Two years ago we declared a state of emergency in homelessness and invested in the creation of our ‘Stability Site’ and youth shelters. At the site, we provide transformational sheltering services and case management which has resulted in placing more than ninety chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing. Our homeless outreach team deploys throughout the day to connect homeless with services. As a community, we lack the necessary permanent supportive housing which is necessary for many of the chronically homeless, as well as needed substance abuse treatment. The more we help out and hold each other accountable, the more successful we will be.
Tacoma is a Welcoming City. We support immigrants and refugees who come to our community, whether or not they are documented. We support agencies, such as the Tacoma Community House, which help immigrants and refugees obtain language training, jobs, and citizenship. We advocate with our federal delegation for much needed immigration reform. We work to hold the Northwest Detention Center accountable for their treatment of detainees, and make sure that everyone in our City is treated with dignity and respect. Our community was built with the blood, sweat, and tears of immigrants and our future depends on supporting the cultural and ethnic diversity which has made our community so vibrant and prosperous. Our diversity is our strength.
Over the past 3.5 years that I have served on the Council, the City has made a deliberate attempt to improve the way we communicate with our residents. We have expanded the notification process for significant projects in our City, we have attempted to revamp our Citizen’s Forum to provide for more robust citizen engagement, and we have initiated public meetings throughout the City to discuss important topics, such as our City's budget. In addition, the City has hired a new communications’ director and we have directed the City Manager to improve the ways the staff performs outreach and engagement with the public. Moving forward, we need to continue to listen and learn from the community, participate in more neighborhood-focused meetings, and improve the way we engage with our constituency so that we can make sure that our policy decisions are better informed by the citizenry we represent.